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‘Jail Bharo Tehreek’: Senior PTI leaders, workers voluntarily surrender to police

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  • Senior leaders including Qureshi, Umar and activists board prison van.
  • “We are facing sham FIRs and NAB cases, custodial torture,” Imran Khan
  • “PTI’s court arrest drive aimed at creating political instability”: Sanaullah.

As the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) “Jail Bharo Tehreek” (court arrest movement) kicked off Wednesday, the party’s senior leaders including Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Asad Umar and Azam Swati, along with party workers voluntarily surrendered themselves to the Lahore police.

The movement, according to the PTI rationale, aims to counter the “attack on constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights” and the “economic meltdown” by the incumbent government”.

Taking to its Twitter handle, the PTI shared that its party’s Vice Chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Secretary General Asad Umar, Swati, Omar Cheema and other leaders and workers are being taken to the Kot Lakhpat jail in the police van. 

The prisoner’s van earlier reached the Camp Jail where workers chanted slogans and several landed on the van’s roof.

Former PTI minister Hammad Azhar, who was present outside the Camp Jail, said: “We have arrived to have ourselves arrested. They will run out of places [to imprison us]. We have just told a few hundred people for now. They are saying there is no space in jail and have asked us to wait.”

The workers were also seen making TikTok videos. PTI leader Mian Abid also ascended on a police mobile and kicked it while breaking its glass in the process. The politician tried escaping the site, but the police chased and arrested him.

Earlier, as the crowd grew more sizable, police barred everyone, including officials, from entering the Capital City Police Office (CCPO) — where the party had gathered.

Many of the party’s senior leaders — including Qureshi, Umar and Swati — and activists boarded a prison van, with several workers also climbing onto the roof of the van.

Local police later clarified that these arrests were entirely voluntary, “we did not arrest them, they have come and sat in the prison van of their own discretion.”

Other PTI leaders who climbed onto the police vehicle include former Punjab governor Omar Sarfaraz Cheema.

Several PTI workers, including women, were also present outside the CCPO building and many lay on the road, demanding that they be arrested.

The PTI workers then got down from the police van and made their way towards Charing Cross.

‘Peaceful, non-violent protest’

PTI Chairman Imran Khan — in the wake of sedition cases filed against his party leaders including Fawad Chaudhry, Swati and Shahbaz Gill — had announced the movement on February 4.

In the first phase of the movement, the party’s senior leaders — Qureshi and Umar — had planned Tuesday to voluntarily surrender themselves to the authorities.

Taking to Twitter, former prime minister and PTI chief said today that the party “is set to start” the Jail Bharo campaign for two main reasons.

“One, it is a peaceful, non-violent protest against the attack on our constitutionally-guaranteed fundamental rights. We are facing sham FIRs and NAB cases, custodial torture, attacks on journalists and social media people,” wrote the PTI chief.

Khan went on to say that the second is against the economic meltdown brought on by a “cabal of crooks who have money laundered billions in looted wealth and gotten NROs for themselves while crushing the people, especially, the poor and the middle class, under the burden of spiralling inflation and rising unemployment.”

To invigorate party workers for the movement, Khan also released a video message urging them to “fill up prisons and shatter the idols of fear”.

He called on all Pakistanis to join the movement to achieve “Haqeeqi Azadi” (true freedom).

Govt to scrutinise arrested workers

The provincial government has decided that the criminal histories, and tax and bank records of people arrested under the PTI’s court arrest drive will be thoroughly scrutinised.

“If anyone is found involved in corruption or criminal cases, immediate action will be taken against them,” sources privy to the Punjab government said.

The sources added that all law enforcement agencies have been mobilised in the run-up to the PTI’s movement, adding that since jails in the provincial capital are brimming to capacity, the arrested individuals would have to be sent to jails in other cities like Mianwali and DG Khan.

In a meeting chaired by Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah, it was also decided that women and poor workers would not be detained during the PTI movement.

Movement aimed at creating ‘political instability’

Earlier, Sanaullah had said that the PTI’s court arrest drive was aimed at creating political instability, and a law and order situation in the country.

Chairing a meeting on law and order, he had said the PTI wanted to get media attention by creating drama.

“The miscreants should be exposed by presenting evidence of their wrongdoings before the masses,” he had added.

In the meeting, it was decided that the “miscreants” would be arrested and law and order would be ensured in the country at all costs.

Moreover, records of those arrested will be maintained and their activities will be mentioned in their character certificates.

Pakistan

Bushra Bibi challenges the Nikah case’s verdict in court.

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According to specifics, Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Khalid Yousaf Chaudhry, entered a plea on her behalf, requesting that the trial court’s decision from February 3 be deemed invalid.

Salman Akram Raja, Salman Safdar, and other individuals will also be parties in this action, while Bushra Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka and the federal government have been named respondents in the plea.

According to the plea, the former first lady went to her mother’s house in August 2017 after divorcing in April.

Furthermore, the ruling is unlawful, immoral, and un-Islamic because the matter pertaining to Bushra Bibi and Khan’s nikah was outside the court’s jurisdiction.

In a case concerning their marriage during the latter’s Iddat era, a court in Islamabad earlier this year condemned former prime minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi to seven years in prison apiece.

The decision on the lawsuit submitted by Bushra’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka in a temporary court at Adiala jail was announced by senior civil judge Qudratullah. The pair was also fined Rs 500,000 apiece by the court.

Bushra Bibi and Imran Khan’s marriage
In February 2018, the former prime minister married Bushra Bibi in Lahore.

Only the bride’s mother and other close relatives and friends were present for the ceremony. The sisters of the PTI founder, however, were not present.

Former SAPM Zulfi Bukhari and Awn Chaudhary, leaders of the Pakitan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), were present when Mufti Saeed conducted the nikah.

Bibi’s ex-husband Khawar Maneka had petitioned the court last year, arguing that the marriage was unlawful and in violation of Sharia law.

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Pakistan

Excuses from Adiala Jail to let Imran’s spouse Bushra due to security concerns

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Bushra Bibi’s appeal was heard by Justice Mian Gul Hasan Aurangzeb; however, the Adiala Jail administration denied Bushra Bibi’s request to be transferred to the jail on Thursday. Superintendent Adiala Jail filed his report with the court.

Bushra Bibi’s attorney, Usman Gul, arrived in court.

The jail supervisor stated that there is not enough room for extra female inmates at the jail—250 women are now incarcerated—and that Bushra Bibi cannot be sent there for security concerns.

The Chief Commissioner of Islamabad has not yet responded.

To give time to respond, the prosecutor asked for it. The plea was accepted by the court, and the hearing was postponed for two weeks.

Bushra Bibi, the spouse of Maulvi Khan, was taken into custody by the women’s police from Adiala jail after she made a request over the Toshkahana reference case.

In December 2023, Bushra Bibi, the wife of former prime minister Imran Khan, received a final call-up notice from the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) requiring her to appear before the Rawalpindi office in Islamabad on December 11 in relation to the Toshakhana case.

According to the notice, Bushra Bibi accepted presents from foreign dignitaries totaling millions of rupees while Imran Khan was prime minister, going against the protocol that is in place for managing such gifts.

She maintained two rings, a set of bracelets, a pair of earrings, and a locket with chain in 2019, according to NAB.

She kept a ring, earrings, bracelet, necklace, and ring in 2020.

She reportedly disregarded the legal need to deposit a wristwatch, earrings, rings, and a necklace with chain that she got in 2021 in the Toshakhana.

Along with the previously stated materials, the anti-graft committee has asked Bushra Bibi to come before them in order to address any queries and offer clarifications on the subject.

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Pakistan

Cabinet meeting to be called by interim prime minister today

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The caretaker federal cabinet will convene today under the direction of caretaker Prime Minister (PM) Anwarul Haq Kakar.

Today at noon, the supervisory federal cabinet will begin its meeting, during which the state of the nation will be examined.

In addition to discussing the nation’s economic and security conditions, the Cabinet will extend the DG Financial Monitoring’s mandate by a year.

The permission of hiring a drug inspector will be discussed during the cabinet meeting, along with the ratification of the rulings made by the Cabinet Committee for the Disposal of Legislative Cases (CCLC) and the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC).

Prior to this, the status of the civilian intelligence organisation Intelligence Bureau (IB) was altered by Caretaker Prime Minister Kakar.

The announcement states that the IB’s status was upgraded from bureaucracy to division by the acting prime minister. Director General (DG) IB Fawad Asadullah made particular efforts to ratify the change of status.

The Intelligence Bureau was divided into a division with the agreement of the acting prime minister. This move was made to streamline the bureau’s financial and administrative operations.

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